There are many common medical complaints that hospitals across the world deal with on a daily basis. Patients suffering with a hernia is one such common medical issue. In the U.S. there are around 800,000 hernia operations every year, and in the United Kingdom, the figure is now in excess of 100,000. These figures are representative of the commonality of the complaint.
What is a Hernia?
The majority of, but not exclusively, hernias affect the abdominal area of the body, around the naval, groin and upper thigh. A hernia can also occur in the area of an incision following other surgical procedures. Not all hernias are the same, their type varies depending on the affected area of the body.
More common in women than men, a femoral hernia is a bulge which manifests itself in the upper thigh, just below the groin. Accounting for fewer than 5 percent of all groin hernias, his type of hernia occurs when tissue protrudes through a weak area in the muscle wall of the inner thigh or groin.
Typically, a femoral hernia is caused by excessive strain whilst coughing, exercising or when passing stools. Additionally, simply being overweight is enough to bring about a femoral hernia. Common symptoms are the appearance of a lump in the groin or upper thigh with some varying levels of discomfort in the groin area. In more extreme cases, stomach pain and vomiting may also be experienced.
Sufferers of inguinal hernias are dominated by the male population, symptomatic by a bulge in the groin which can be seen all the way through to the scrotum. The hernia occurs when fatty tissue or some of the intestine protrudes through a weakened area of the abdominal on either side of the inguinal canal. The inguinal canal is situated on both sides of the lower abdomen and is connected to the genitals.
Inguinal hernias are classified as being direct or indirect. Direct inguinal hernias develop slowly over a period of time with the weakening of the abdominal wall. A direct inguinal hernia, most commonly found in adult males, results as part of the aging process or due to excessive strain of the abdominal muscles.
This type of hernia occurs when the stomach starts to force its way through the narrowest part of the diaphragm. A hiatal hernia rarely causes any visible symptoms, but sufferers are likely to experience acid reflux and heartburn. These symptoms do cause discomfort and can be relived with antacids or alginates.
The exact cause of hiatal hernias is not fully understood, however, older age and genetics are common factors, as is obesity. Very severe cases of hiatal hernia are rare, in these cases surgery may be an option to correct the problem.
An umbilical hernia comes about due to part of the bowel, or fatty tissue, forces its way through an area near the naval, it then protrudes through a weakened area of the surrounding abdominal wall. It can also occur as a result of a defect in the anterior wall of the abdomen.
Although not the most common area of sufferance, an umbilical hernia can affect adults. It is more common in newborns and infants and is easily treatable and is rarely serious.
Surgical Correction of a Hernia
The only method of permanently correcting a hernia of any type, is surgery. Thailand’s hospitals are well equipped to undertake surgical procedures to correct hernias of all types. Up to date methodology in diagnostics and treatment, backed up with internationally trained medical professionals and state of the art surgical suites, has led to the country achieving an enviable reputation for its level of success in hernia correction procedures.
As a general rule, surgery will take one of two forms. The exact form of surgery to be undertaken is decided upon on a case by case basis and is largely dependent on the severity of the condition. The two methods employed are open repair and laparoscopic surgery.
Hernia Open Repair
Open repair is a traditional form of surgery, conducted under general anesthetic, whereby the surgeon makes an incision to gain access to the affected area and to repair the muscle. Hernias repaired using sutures are referred to as primary closures. Primary closure repair would normally be used to correct small, strangulated and infected hernias as well as inguinal hernias in infants.
For other repairs the surgeon may opt to utilize a hernia, or surgical mesh. Surgical mesh is a synthetic polymer or biopolymer material designed to act as a reinforcement for the tissues being repaired.
The mesh is positioned across the area to be repaired and can be attached with staples, suture or glue. The open pores in the mesh allow the tissues to literally grow into the mesh, the new tissue is supported and strengthened due to having the mesh in situ.
Laparoscopic Hernia Repair
Laparoscopic hernia repair, as with open repair, is also performed under general anesthetic. One of the main benefits of a laparoscopic procedure is the vastly smaller incisions required. This facilitates less body trauma which hastens recovery. The resulting scars are also far less visible, which for some patients is seen as preferable.
Typically, for this type of hernia repair, three incisions of just a few millimeters will be made by the surgeon. Through one of these incisions a laparoscopic camera will be inserted. The images from the camera can then be seen on a monitor which acts as a guide for the surgeon.
Through the other incisions specialist surgical tools can be inserted to undertake the repair. The repair may be done using sutures, or, just as with open repair, surgical mesh can be used as an aid in the repair, support and strengthening of the area and to help promote healing.
On completion of the procedure the small incisions will be closed, normally using sutures that will, over time dissolve.
Hernia Surgery Accessibility
All of Thailand’s major hospitals are modern, advanced establishments that offer the very best in medical care and are acknowledged across the world for their exemplary levels of advanced medical proficiency. With worldwide accreditations, not only for their medical care, but also for value and accessibility to all, Thailand’s hospitals are now the number one destination for medical tourists from across the world.
From wherever you are, initial contact and consultations can be made from home prior to visiting a chosen hospital. With multi lingual medical staff, no waiting lists and being renowned for its value for money, Thailand’s hospitals are globally accessible to all.
Visit Hernia Treatment and Surgery in Thailand for more information.